This is a post from 2013. My opinions about “The Chief” are the same NOW as they were then. Please forgive the typos.
“Wednesday’s Benchmark WOD is “The Chief.” This is a fun WOD – if any of this stuff can be considered fun. I think the reason that it is fun is because the weight is reasonable, dosage the rep schemes are short and fast, web and you never feel like you’re doing the same thing too long. BUT…that is exactly what makes “The Chief” tough. To get the best scores, you must transition quickly over and over again. If you can do 20 rounds, that’s like adding 20 burpees, because you will want to jump to your feet to be ready to squat. 25 rounds, 25 hidden burpees. 30 rounds is possible, and guess what, there are 30 “hidden” burpees. Fun!
The built in rest allows you to treat each 3 minute round of the Chief as a sprint, but after the first round, you never fully recover – like FGB or Hope you find out quickly that 1 minute rest is barely rest. If you are moving fast it will allow you to catch your breath and maintain pace.
The weight and the movements will make the Chief Rx-able for many of our athletes. The pushups and squats are simple. The only nuance here will be how efficiently can you get from the pushup to the squat and the squat to the bar.
The technical test of “The Chief” is how strong/efficient are you on the barbell. I recommend if you can handle the weight, do singles. If you can handle chained reps, that is the way to go on the Chief. The 3 minute round is short, and anytime spent chasing the bar around is time not spent working. To get the best score, you will need to hang onto the bar for all 3 reps or be an absolute Jedi, mind tricking the bar onto staying exactly where you want it.
So, if the movements and reps are reasonable, what does the Chief really test? Intensity and pacing. How fast can you go and can you maintain it?
To score 15 rounds, that is 1 round a minute. 20 rounds is a round every 40 seconds. 25 rounds is a round every 35 seconds. 30 rounds is, gulp, a round every 30 seconds. I would guess that 20 rounds is do-able for many CFO athletes. 25 is still do-able, but tough. In my experience, every rep after round 26 is hard earned.
So, how do you pace? A decent plan is to pick a rep/time scheme and stick to it as best you can. Simple an effective.
A more bold plan (and fortune favors the bold) is to sprint early (or just under full sprint speed) and get as many rounds early as you can. I find if I can get as many as possible in rounds 1 and 2, my pace falls off around round 3, but from there I can hold 5 rounds per round. The pace for this is somewhere between melt your face off and light yourself on fire. Can you hold this?
What do you do in the rest periods? Pray, I guess.
Final piece of advice – I score this WOD as 1 whole thing as opposed to individual rounds. You will start each round where you left off. If you can “sneak” reps in the last 10 seconds, you feel like you’re getting a headstart on the next round.”
Workout of the Day
5 – 3 Minute Rounds
3 Power Cleans 135/95
9 Air Squats
Rest 1 Minute